Abstract for: Validation as learning - Iterating qualitative structure and quantitative behaviour in GMB workshops

The literature on tools for the transition from qualitative to quantitative models in Group Model Building workshops is scarce. While operationalizable tools might provide valuable input for researchers and practitioners, examples of the work behind the curtains of the GMB stages are rare. This study reflects on a series of six GMB workshops over the course of 2 years, in which unconventional methods, such as Material-Flow-Analysis and case studies, have been applied to qualify the input of GMB participants. We find that these tools help to identify blank spots in the expert’s mental models, but the learning process requires the modeller to iteratively involve the GMB participants. To support the exchange of information between the group and the modeller, two templates are proposed to improve the reflexive capabilities of both parties. These templates highlight the value of simulations to identify missing feedbacks and incomplete structures.